An in situ thermally enhanced microbial remediation strategy and a method for the biodegradation of toxic petroleum fuel hydrocarbon and halogenated organic solvent contaminants. The method utilizes nonpathogenic, thermophilic bacteria for the thermal biodegradation of toxic and carcinogenic contaminants, such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes, from fuel leaks and the chlorinated ethenes, such as trichloroethylene, chlorinated ethanes, such as 1,1,1-trichloroethane, and chlorinated methanes, such as chloroform, from past solvent cleaning practices. The method relies on and takes advantage of the pre-existing heated conditions and the array of delivery/recovery wells that are created and in place following primary subsurface contaminant volatilization efforts via thermal approaches, such as dynamic underground steam-electrical heating.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the U.S. Department of Energy and the University of California, for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.